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Albuquerque Sees High Rent-To-Income Ratios

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A Harvard University report released last week shows that for renters making less money, Albuquerque is among the toughest U.S. cities for affordable housing.

The State of the Nation’s Housing, 2015shows only seven cities ranked higher than Albuquerque’s 34.9 percent ratio of rental cost to income. Miami leads the way with 39 percent of income going to rent.

Credit Rashad Mahmood
Cities not ranking in the top 12: New York (26), Chicago (48), San Francisco (60).

Lisa Huval from the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness said paying more than 30 percent of income for rent and bills increases the risk of becoming homeless when an emergency comes up.

“Say if a car breaks down and they need to fix it so they can get to work and maintain employment,” Huval explained, “they may not have those funds available if they’re spending a big chunk of their income on housing.”

Huval added, “What we really need in this community is more housing that is affordable to households with very low incomes on a permanent basis.”

Income is the mitigating factor. If you do not make at least $30,000 a year you probably do not live comfortably in Albuquerque if you are renting.

The big difference between Albuquerque and many of the other cities – our incomes and our rents are lower. But, we still pay a large percentage of that income for rent.

The average household income in Albuquerque is $26,700 and the median rent is $814, or about $10,000 annually. Fresno and New Orleans are in a similar range.

Kaveh Mowahed is a reporter with KUNM who follows government, public health and housing. Send story ideas to kaveh@kunm.org.